Structure & Discipline

The goal of the military system at Fork Union Military Academy is not to turn young men into soldiers. Indeed, we have no affiliation with any branch of the armed forces. Rather, our goal is simply to use the best aspects of the military system to teach young men the value of being responsible for their actions, of doing on their own the work that needs to be done, and of working with others toward a common purpose.

We have identified a set of broadly agreed upon positive military courtesies, such as...

  • respect for authority
  • punctuality
  • self-discipline
  • accountability
  • personal and corporate hygiene

...and we have superimposed these values on our living and learning environment -- in the classroom, the locker room, the dining room, and the dorm room.

At Fork Union Military Academy, our cadets are expected to tuck in their shirts, to say "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am", to stand when a lady enters, and to open doors for others. Our cadets learn to look others in the eye, address others with respect, and speak with confidence. Our cadets are taught to "sweep in the corners" -- that is, they are expected to pay attention to detail, to be accountable for their actions, and to set high standards for themselves and others.

Our environment of structure and discipline helps to limit distractions and encourage students to focus on achievement in academics, athletics, and personal growth.

Cadet Corps

The Academy's student body is organized as a Cadet Corps led by cadet officers who serve as members of the battalion staff, as company commanders, platoon leaders, and in other leadership roles.

The Upper School companies include four rifle companies (A, B, C, and E), the Retan Rifles honor company (home of the Academy's color guard and precision drill team), and Band Company.

The Middle School is organized as a battalion with two separate military companies. The Middle School battalion marches in full dress parades on campus with the Upper School battalion during special occasions and according to the regular Sunday parade schedule during the spring of the year.


Military discipline is a constant at Fork Union Military Academy. Cadets abide by regulations of face the consequences of improper choices. Conduct expectations are made clear, and cadets are treated fairly and consistently. The primary goal of FUMA's disciplinary system is to encourage responsible behavior while demanding that young men treat each other with courtesy and respect.

The Commandant of Cadets oversees the daily operation of the Cadet Corps and the proper enforcement of regulations through the demerit system. A cadet who receives demerits during a given month (in excess of the number allowed without penalty) must serve a penalty tour for each demerit received. This usually means a period of time spent marching during what would otherwise be his free time.

In contrast, cadets who maintain their demerit count below specific levels enjoy certain privileges, and are able to take full benefit of their free time on campus for activities, rest, or recreation.